Commentary

Power Rankings: Tuesday Night Football

Originally Published: December 27, 2010
By Greg Hardy | Special to Page 2

Thanks for needlessly rearranging your schedule to warm up with the Page 2 Power Rankings! Our formula combines the results of two surveys: a human poll concocted by ESPN Page 2's Greg Hardy and a scientifically calibrated poll generated by computer analysis. Unfortunately, our computer spent too much time "analyzing data" about Hugh Hefner's upcoming bride. Hey, the thing is claiming, "I only read Playboy for the wedding announcements." We've heard that one before. To the results!


1. "Tuesday Night Football"

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.7 9.5 19.2

Credentials: Can we still keep blaming the weather for moving Vikings games all over the place? Because there's something fitting for Minnesota's karma that the team is being moved around the TV schedule like a bad replacement sitcom. And even though the Vikings-Eagles game will be the league's first Tuesday game since 1946, the funny thing is that "Tuesday Night Football" is coincidentally the title for a sitcom Brett Favre is trying to pitch to the networks. It involves him starring as a retired NFL quarterback who's trying to get back to the league, but mostly we see him sit on the couch yelling at the TV, a la Al Bundy. (The role of the wife is down to Patricia Heaton and Leah Remini.) Note to Favre: If your show does get picked up, the karma thing will come into play again. Because it's the network execs who chose when and where your show gets put on the schedule each new season.


2. Bill Cowher

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
9.2 9.2 18.4

Credentials: Fact: There will be many a head coaching vacancy in the NFL this offseason. Fact: Bill Cowher is overdue to be back prowling a sideline. So which owner will hire the grand prize? We know Cowher must have a job wish list somewhere. If he lands a job outside of the New York area, we wonder if his new boss will be able to accommodate his wish to work out of Tom Coughlin's office.


3. Christian Bale

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
8.6 8.5 17.1

Credentials: Have you seen "The Fighter" yet? If you haven't, it's worth the price of admission just to see Christian Bale's million-watt performance. At the risk of giving away a minor plot point, if Bale doesn't win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, the Academy definitely should create a new "Best Repeated Jumping Out of the Second-Floor Window of a Crack House" category.


4. NFC West drama

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.9 7.8 15.7

Credentials: Turning the "two teams enter, one team exits -- though both belong in the toilet" showdown of Rams vs. Seahawks into a Week 17 flex schedule showcase is like asking "Saturday Night Live" fans whether they'd rather see the season finale hosted by Chris Kattan or Rob Schneider.


5. Mike Singletary

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
7.0 7.7 14.7

Credentials: It's shocking, but not entirely surprising, to see the coach with the highest ratio of "fiery personality" to "onfield meltdown" quotients fired by the 49ers. We can't wait to see him at his next stop, whether it's as an NFL coordinator or a college head coach -- but is it too soon for him to start campaigning for Bill Cowher's broadcasting job?


6. Hugh Hefner

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
6.1 6.6 12.7

Credentials: We're completely fine with the 84-year-old Playboy founder finding true love and happiness with bride No. 3, 24-year-old Crystal Harris -- as long as Hef doesn't try to coach a college football team, like 84-year-old Joe Paterno. Although we feel better about JoePa coaching. He's got more experience, and is younger than Hef (Dec. 21, 1926, vs. April 9, 1926). In fact, Paterno has defied so many age stereotypes that we nominate him to host Hef's bachelor party.


7. Useless College Bowl Games

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.8 5.5 11.3

Credentials: At the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Notre Dame and Miami players are being forbidden from crossing the border into Mexico in search of night life and adventure. It's not just that coaches are worried about player safety in Juarez, a city with a soaring drug war murder rate. Turns out Mexico doesn't want college football players hanging around and risking a bowl game accidentally breaking out on Mexican soil. The migration of American bowl games is a big political issue in Mexico.


8. NHL Winter Classic

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.2 5.6 10.8

Credentials: As if we haven't had enough cold weather trauma. Now we're being told the NHL's signature New Year's Day gimmick might be endangered ... by warm weather! Rain in the Pittsburgh forecast could flood the Heinz Field ice surface and make it too uneven for skating. Sorry, Penguins and Capitals. We're just going to have to chalk up "Pittsburgh too hot on Jan. 1 to stage an outdoor NHL game" to "things we'll see in sports before we get a college football playoff."


9. New Year's Resolutions

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
5.3 5.4 10.7

Credentials: Attention sports owners: We'd love to see you resolve to avoid out-of-orbit free agent spending to fix your teams. After all, the draft is how we build winners these days. Unless, of course, our chief rival just landed a key free agent. Then it's spend, spend, spend, you fools! And feel free to surprise us with a blockbuster trade or two. Now you know why it's impossible to keep any New Year's resolution.


10. A Blake Griffin story

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.7 5.5 10.2

Credentials: Idea for 2011 NBA holiday special: A 9-year-old Los Angeles boy spends all holiday season wishing for front-row tickets for a Clippers game to see his hero slam down. But all the grown-ups in his life warn, "He'll dunk your eyes out, kid." Luckily, modern-day Ralphie wins baseline tickets for a Christmas Day Clippers-Lakers game. But sure enough, Griffin goes up for a monster dunk, which ricochets into Ralphie's glasses. The kid ends up OK, but David Stern proceeds to heed Phil Jackson's call to end Christmas Day games. Yeah, it's a bit of a downer ending, but at least this version doesn't take place in Cleveland, where "A Christmas Story" was filmed. That would be way too depressing.


11. Ohio State tattoos

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.8 4.7 9.5

Credentials: It would be too easy to say this scandal of Terrelle Pryor and his Buckeyes teammates will leave a permanent mark on the Big Ten's reputation leading up to the Sugar Bowl. But here's a way of turning the story into a positive: The league can kick around changing the names of its soon-to-be divisions from the lame-tastic "Leaders" and "Legends" to "Permanent Ink" and "Henna."


12. Michael Jordan's mind

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
4.6 4.3 8.9

Credentials: As we watch Paul Silas take over Larry Brown's vacated captain's chair aboard the sinking S.S. Bobcats, we were wondering: Does MJ invest more time in selecting NBA coaches or the co-stars in his underwear commercials?


13. Returning unwanted gifts

Human Poll Computer Poll Power Points Trending
2.2 2.1 4.3

Credentials: Think it's bad standing in line to return the duplicate Blu-ray copies of "Shrek Forever After" that wound up under your tree? How about the Connecticut football team, which has sold fewer than 5,000 of its allotment of 17,500 Fiesta Bowl tickets. Thus, the Huskies are estimated to be on the hook for $2 million worth of worthless paper stubs. At least $2 million worth of coal in the stocking would have kept them warm when they got back from Arizona.


Also receiving votes
• Bud Greenspan, R.I.P.: Believe us when we say that for six decades he was a titan of Olympic documentaries. Compare that to today, when you surely can find a dozen TV producers who think it would be great to have profiles about athletes at the 2012 London Summer Games narrated by Snooki.

Never receiving votes
• "Gulliver's Travels": Of all the sparkly trinkets people wanted for Christmas, they apparently didn't want to see Jack Black talking to wee folks for 93 minutes. It collected $7.2 million for seventh place over the weekend. Maybe the studio should have re-thought the "Travel with Gulliver" promotional tie-in with the T.S.A.,where moviegoers in in selected cities were subjected to a full body pat-down just to enter the multiplex.

Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.


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Greg Hardy is a Page 2 contributor. It's all pop culture all the time at Twitter.com/HardyVision.